Friday, June 28, 2013

Making a Pocket Quilt Label from a Handkerchief

I still had to put a label on my quilt "Saint Francis Preaches to the Birds" before mailing it to the Sacred Threads show.  I like to use doilies and other linens as labels, and this time I decided to try using a handkerchief.  Iron your hankie really well, fold it into quarters, press,  and trim to the desired size plus 1/4  inch all around. 

  Take one of the blank squares and your fancy square an iron them to squares of freezer paper slightly larger than your fabric.

  You can practice your word placement on the blank square,

And then write your text (using a permanent marker or gel pen) on the square you intend for your finished label.

Line up your label, right sides together with one blank leftover square.  I used both the leftover squares because this fabric was very thin. Sew together using a 1/4 inch seam all around, leaving an opening for turning.  Trim the corners.

Turn right sides out.  Poke out the corners, slip stitch the opening.

If you're lucky, your cat inspector will come by to check your work.

Slip stitch the label to your quilt.

Since this quilt is traveling, I left one side open to form a pocket.

I wrote my contact information on a card stock label that fits into the pocket.  I love these hand charms, and I sewed one on as an anchor for the string.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Getting Close

I'm getting close to the length I want my granny square scarf to be.  Of course those last few rows are the most tedious. 

There are a lot of ends to weave in on these motifs.  I tend to do them as I go along with a tapestry needle.  I'm also joining two small and one large motif into rectangular units using a slick invisible join that I found on Pinterest.  This is a slightly different technique that gives a perfectly invisible join.

I think three more rows might be perfect for this project.  Then I'll be seaming the whole thing together.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Project Organization

The Granny Square scarf grows by the day.  I'm thinking that when I have all the motifs joined, I'll add a crocheted edging all the way around--maybe one with picots.

 I've thrown a few more yarns into the mix.  These are odd balls from my stash. 

Since I make these motifs while sitting in my living room, I needed to tame all the yarns and the motifs.  While in Tuesday Morning, I found this large fake book. 

Everything fits neatly inside when I'm not working on it.  The blocks even stack up neatly and stay in order.  Sometimes I just like to open the box and admire the colors.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Closet and Archive

This only just passed through my radar: Appearances Can Be Deceiving: The Dresses of Frida Kahlo, a collaboration between the Frida Kahlo Museum and Vogue Mexico, opened on November 24th, 2012 and will run for a full year.  This article has a video interview with the exhibit's curator, who talks about Kahlo's choice of dress, and the article explains how it took 58 years for the contents of Frida's closet to come to light.

How wonderful that Kahlo scholars are attuned to the importance of these dresses and other personal objects.  They are so deeply identified with Frida and with the image she constructed of herself as a Mexican woman artist.  Now here are some textiles with stories to tell.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Granny Square Scarf

I'm chugging along on my Granny Square Scarf, inspired by the Bohemian Rhapsody scarf pattern and kit.  After making several motifs, I realized my weaving samples are not going to be sufficient for the whole project.

Luckily, I have left over sock and fingering weight yarn from past projects.  It looks like I've got a thing for orange and blue.

I also have a stash of crewel embroidery yarn, 100% wool, and in a good range of colors.  Some of the longer pieces are sufficient for the first and even second rounds of the motif.  Shorter lengths have to be joined.  Two of my favorite methods for joining yarn seamlessly are the Braided Join, and the Russian Join.  These links are to youTube videos.

I may get close to the 70 colors in my inspiration piece. 

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Thrifted Pretties

When I visited my folks recently, my mom gave me a few pretties she'd found at an estate sale.  The motif, she thought, might be tatted.  I'm inclined to agree with her because of the long threads and the woven patches in the outer part of the circle.  It's got a bit of a stain on it, but that is a sign of it's natural age.

She also gave me this spotless linen hankie with hand a crocheted (?) lace edging. 

The work is just perfect.  I'll save both of these pieces for a special project.

I recently ran across some great thrifted buttons.  I hadn't found buttons in a while, so these are great additions to my stash.  I think the cards are sometimes even more interesting than the buttons themselves, especially when they include the price.  Those "Le Chic" buttons where made in Japan, which is probably not a big exporter of buttons anymore.

These shiny black buttons were made in West Germany but the claim that they were "styled in Hollywood" gave them their real panache.

For real chic, these buttons claim Paris.  And add a foil backing.

Sometimes a discount trumps glamor.

Grey mother of pearl:  a little warn, but still beautiful.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Summer Vacation

With a Great Sigh of Relief, my summer vacation has started.   So far I have done some spring cleaning and organizing, weeded the backyard within an inch of its life,  and spent a few days visiting my parents.  I also finished my second sweater for the Afghans for Afghans 500 sweater campaign.  This sweater, the Quince-Essential Fair Isle, is from Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters.  Being bulky weight it knitted up pretty fast.  There's still time to contribute toward this campaign, which ends in July.

Toward the end of the semester, I was totally smitten by the BBC series The Great British Sewing Bee, which you can watch on YouTube.  There are four episodes, and the show is like Project Runway for home sewers.  Don't be put off by the fact that the first challenge is and A-line skirt, it gets more interesting, and it is quite inspiring.

In the process of watching the show, I became fixated with the granny square scarf Ann wears each time she arrives and takes off her coat.  The scarf, Bohemian Rhapsody, is available as a kit by Marylene Lynx, made up of 70 skeins of hand-dyed lace weight wool.  I would buy this kit if it crossed my path, but I decided instead to make up my own "inspired by Bohemian Rhapsody" project.

Last Fall my friend Catherine gave me these weaving yarn samples that had been in her grandmother's stash.  They are a sturdy lace weight.

I decided to make my motifs with the lace weight yarn doubled, roughly fingering weight, on a size F hook.  Crocheting lace weight was a bit more fussy than I wanted to get, plus I didn't want to be at this for the rest of my life. The main feature I liked about the pattern was the alternating sizes of the motifs.  Bohemian Rhapsody uses motifs in 3 sizes, and I chose a very basic granny square motif in two sizes.  The small squares are two rounds of the larger 4-round block.  The pattern is an abbreviated version of the motif in this free Red Heart pattern.

Crochet gets a bad rap sometimes, but I'm enjoying the process, and the color play.  The ergonomic Clover hook makes for much less hand strain than I remember from crocheting in the past.

Now that I'm on vacation, you might find me here, making a few squares.